The Fascinating Life of a Flâneuse – Hermès Exhibition

1 Hermes exhibition In the Eyes of a Flaneur_edited-2

The French have a very special word that has no true equivalent in English: Flâneur. In the height of the 19th century, this term described the Parisian man of leisure, someone who was an idle urban explorer, a curious soul who loved to observe the ebb and flow of the city. It comes from the French verb flâner, which means to stroll leisurely. Charles Baudelaire has perhaps become the most emblematic flâneur of all time. Due to social constraints of the time, women couldn’t walk about alone in the city like men could, so the feminine form of the word, “flâneuse,” wasn’t widely used. Nowadays, however, anybody can aimlessly explore Paris!

I’m excited to start a little series about my life as a flâneuse, in which I’ll share the things I find on my constant wanderings through Paris! I’m always taking new routes, whether I’m going to meetings, visiting apartments or even just shopping for food. Everytime I step out the door, I know I’m in for a treat.

I happened upon a wonderful exhibition organized for Hermès by artist Hubert le Gall called “Dans l’Oeil du Flâneur,” or “In the Eye of the Flâneur.” It seemed like fate that I would accidentally stumble into this exhibition about wandering through Paris, when I was doing just that.

s trying to take selfie

I need to ask my daughter how to take a selfie!

Ok, technically, I was jogging, but it still counts! As I made my way along the riverbank near the Musée d’Orsay, I saw some funny and outrageous paintings outside an exhibition and decided to visit, but only after I’d logged my twenty minutes of jogging and a few stomach exercises!


Hermès put together a fantastic exhibition. It was like walking into Alice in Wonderland, where up became down, lost objects found refuge in a café, and elephants appeared in china shop windows. The exhibition captured a surreal version of strolling through Paris as a flâneur or flâneuse, especially the aspect of noticing unexpected details. Little things you might normally ignore, like lost watches, cute dogs or the shape of street lamps, become fascinating when you become one with the city.

3a The cafe of forgotten objectss_edited

The Café of Forgotten Objects

Images of street lights animals purses_edited

Floating images of street lights, animals and purses.

3g Boss dreasm_edited

5 haunted house_edited


Left: An upside-down café table and chair. Right: A funny image reflected in a mirror.

and suddenly an elephant appears in a shop window

And suddenly an elephant appears in a fantasy shop window!


only in Paris a french purse kiosk hermes exhibit

Only in Paris Fantasy: a sidewalk kiosk of French Handbags by Hermes


s walk into magic closet

Into a magic closet and doorway to fantasy land

s thru magic closet

Naturally the magic closet is full of Hermes boxes

Stay tuned for the next chapter of My Life as a Flâneuse, coming soon. Who knows what I’ll discover next time!

s along paris riverbank

This is the new pedestrian riverbank in Paris, the Berges de Seine. It runs from the Musee d’Orsay to the Pont de l’Alma by the Eiffel Tower — and it’s a delight to walk, run, cycle, picnic, explore on a sunny day!

oh the things you will see paris

Oh, the things you will disccover!

This Hermès exhibition is no longer running, but there’s still time to see any of these Winter Exhibitions around Paris.

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